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Serving: MN

State fair poll shows support for civics, finance class requirements

PeopleImages/Getty Images Cropped shot of a woman filling in a questionnaire
ANNUAL POLL: The Minnesota House Public Services Information Office holds an informal poll every year at the state fair to gauge interest on a number of issues, including some that were discussed in the previous legislative session.
Informal annual poll by the Minnesota House public information department also shows support for legalized pot, gambling, no state tax on Social Security.

The annual informal poll by the Minnesota House Public Information Services Office at the state fair shows strong support for requiring high school students to take a civics and personal finance class, and to exempt Social Security benefits from state tax.

The nonpartisan public information services office conducts the survey based on issues discussed in prior legislative sessions that may be topics in 2023.

This year’s poll was taken by 7,110 fairgoers, a significant increase from 2021, when 5,231 people took the poll, reflecting the overall increase in attendance at this year’s fair, according to House Public Information Services.

The 12-question poll found wide support for requiring high school students to take a civics and personal finance class to graduate (90% in favor), increasing the penalties for those who disrupt youth sporting events (84% in favor), and exempting all Social Security benefits from state taxes (77.5% in support).

Support for the legalization of recreational marijuana and sports gambling appears to be on the rise, at least among fair attendees.

A majority of those — 61% — support allowing the recreational use of marijuana by those ages 21 and over, while 30% oppose legalization, and 8% are undecided or have no opinion on the issue.

That is a slight bump in support among fairgoers as, when the same question was asked in 2021, 58% said they favor legalization and 34% were against it.

Polltakers also expressed support for legalization and regulation of gambling on professional and collegiate sports, with 44% in favor, 40% opposed and 16% undecided. That is also a slight increase from the 2021 poll, when that same question found 41% of polltakers in favor, 40% opposed and 19% undecided.

The majority of respondents (57%) are opposed to establishing a school voucher system that would allow parents to choose the public or private school their child attends with state money following the child, with 33% in favor of the proposal.

Most polltakers also support:

  • requiring anyone operating a boat or personal watercraft to complete a safety course and receive a permit
  • paying newly hired police officers a bonus of up to $10,000 if they successfully complete their first year on the job
  • replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as a state holiday
  • creation of a permanent absentee voter registration list
  • allowing businesses to install and manage charging stations for electric vehicles at interstate highway rest areas

The survey

Here are the questions and results of the 2022 poll.

1. Should an individual who disrupts a youth athletic event, or inflicts demonstrable bodily harm on a sports official performing his or her duties during the event, be subject to a fine of up to $1,000?
Yes, 84.4% (5,901 votes)
No,. 5.9% (415)
Undecided or no opinion, 0.7% (674)

2. Should Minnesota legalize and regulate gambling on professional and collegiate sports?
Yes, 44.2% (3,084)
No, 40% (2,797)
Undecided or no opinion, 15.8% (1,107)

3. Should anyone who operates a boat or personal watercraft in the state be required to complete a safety course and receive a permit?
Yes, 70.7% (4,965)
No, 21.3% (1,493)
Undecided or no opinion, 8% (564)

4. Should the state pay newly hired police officers a bonus of up to $10,000 if they successfully complete their first year on the job?
Yes, 42.8% (2,994)
No, 35.6% (2,489)
Undecided or no opinion, 21.6% (1,515)

5. Should all Social Security benefits be exempt from state taxation?
Yes, 77.5% (5,434)
No, 12.8% (895)
Undecided or no opinion, 9.7% (679)

6. Should the state replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as a state holiday?
Yes, 59.1% (4,144)
No, 30% (2,103)
Undecided or no opinion, 10.9% (762)

7. Should a school voucher system be established whereby the state issues parents a voucher equal to the state's cost of educating a child for a year, and parents can then choose the school their child attends, whether public or private?
Yes, 32.8% (2,292)
No, 57.2% (3,993)
Undecided or no opinion, 10% (696)

8. Should Minnesota allow the recreational use of marijuana by persons ages 21 and over?
Yes, 61.4% (4,312)
No, 30.2% (2,116)
Undecided or no opinion, 8.4% (590)

9. Should a permanent absentee voter registration list be created that would allow voters who sign up to always have an absentee ballot mailed to them prior to each election?
Yes, 54.1% (3,780)
No, 34.9% (2,441)
Undecided or no opinion, 11% (768)

10. Should eligible high school seniors receive conditional admission to the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities rather than having to complete an application process?
Yes, 51.4% (3,590)
No, 34.4% (2,404)
Undecided or no opinion, 14.2% (996)

11. Should businesses be allowed to install and manage electric vehicle charging stations at interstate highway rest stops to help expand the charging infrastructure throughout the state?
Yes, 74.6% (5,216)
No, 13.8% (968)
Undecided or no opinion, 11.6% (810)

12. Should high school students be required to take a civics and personal finance class in order to graduate?
Yes, 90% (6,322)
No, 5.7% (399)
Undecided or no opinion, 4.3% (304)

Source: Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all of its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

 

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